Culture

Germany OKs plan to fine social networks for unchecked hate speech

German cabinet approves draft law that would charge sites like Twitter and Facebook as much as $53 million for failing to regulate hate speech and fake news.

With an influx of immigration and an election coming up, Germany's cabinet on Wednesday voted to approve strict new standards that would force social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to regulate fake news and hate speech. The draft law includes fines of as much as €50 million ($53 million) for sites that fail to comply.

The new rules call for social media sites to delete at least 70 percent of inappropriate and illegal posts within 24 hours of their postings. Facebook has pushed back against the rules, insisting that it takes the issue very seriously, but also calling it "highly complex."

"We have clear rules against hate speech and work hard to keep it off our platform," a Facebook representative told CNET last month. "We are committed to working with the government and our partners to address this societal issue. By the end of the year, over 700 people will be working on content review for Facebook in Berlin."

Earlier this year, Facebook also announced a partnership with Correctiv, a German third-party fact-checking organization.

Twitter didn't immediately respond to a request for further comment on the new standards. But in the past it has declined comment, choosing instead to refer CNET to recent changes on the site, including new internal tools for detecting hate speech as it happens.